AskDefine | Define kielbasa

User Contributed Dictionary


From etyl pl Kiełbasa. Compare Ukrainian ковбаса.


  • In Polish: "kyew-ba-sa"
  • In General American: "kyel-ba-sa" or "k'ba-see"


  1. A spicy, smoked Polish sausage

Extensive Definition

Kiełbasa is a Polish word for traditional Polish sausage. The word has become a commonly used North American term for Eastern European styles of sausage, including Ukrainian sausage, which is called kovbasa or kubasa. The sausage in Poland is usually sold in two forms, fresh and dry. The dry one has the advantage of being long lasting, while the fresh one can be eaten cold or cooked. The fresh form is used in traditional Polish dishes, such as "Biały Barszcz" or "Bigos".


The term entered English simultaneously from different sources, which accounts for the different spellings. In the United States, the form kielbasa (usually or /kɪlˈbɑːsə/) is more often used and comes from the Polish kiełbasa ( listen) "sausage", in turn from Turkic külbastı "grilled cutlet"). In New Jersey and most areas of Greater New York City, the Czech pronunciation, or possibly a derivative of the Polish word is used, and is usually pronounced "ke-bah-see" (kiełbasi: incorrect form of the plural in Polish) or "keu-bah-sah." In addition to kielbasa, Canadians also use the word kubasa (/kuːbɒˈsɒ, ˈkuːbəsɒ/), an alteration of the Ukrainian kovbasa (), and Albertans even abbreviate it as kubie to refer to the sausage eaten on a hot dog bun.


Sausage is a staple of Polish cuisine and comes in dozens of varieties, smoked or fresh, but almost always based on pork (although in many areas, it is available in beef, and sometimes in turkey, horse, lamb, even bison), every region having its own specialty. Popular varieties include:
  • kabanosy, a thin, air-dried sausage flavored with caraway seed, originally made of horsemeat (but today usually pork or turkey)
  • krakowska, a thick, straight sausage hot-smoked with pepper; its name originated from Kraków
  • wiejska (pronounced in Polish /ˈvʲejska/), a large U-shaped pork and veal sausage with marjoram and garlic; its name means "a rural one".
In the U.S., "kielbasa" almost always means some form of wiejska (although often not U-shaped and seldom containing veal), which may be unsmoked ("fresh") or fully or partly smoked. Similar sausages are found in other Slavic nations as well, notably the Czech Republic, Slovakia (spelled "klobása") and Hungary (spelled "kolbász"). In Ukraine "kovbasa" is properly pronounced /kovbɑsɑ/, but in English is usually pronounced /ˈkʌbɑsɑ/.
Original kielbasa is also called "Polska kiełbasa" for "Polish Sausage" or "Kielbasa Starowiejska" known as "Old Country Style Sausage". This one comes closest to what is generally known in America as "kielbasa" (Polish sausage, Polska Kiełbasa). Nowadays, many major meat packers across America offer a product called "kielbasa," but it differs from the original meaning of the same term.
Real kielbasa uses only the choicest cuts of tender pork, and often a little beef or veal is added to improve its body and character. The sausage is seasoned with fresh herbs and spices and then gently smoked, just long enough to achieve the right color, flavor and aroma. It is often eaten for breakfast or supper as a cold cut with horseradish or mustard.
In Poland, kielbasa is traditionally served with fried onions, red horseradish (which is blended with beets), and - in form of small pieces, fried together with onions - as an addition to pierogi, which are crescent-shaped dumplings filled with potato, cheese or mushrooms. Kielbasa can be served hot — boiled, baked or grilled. It can be cooked in soups (such as biały barszcz, kapuśniak, or grochówka), baked with sauerkraut, or added to bean dishes, stews (notably bigos, the Polish national dish), and casseroles.
A less widely available variety of kielbasa is the White Fresh (biała), which is sold uncooked and unsmoked, then usually boiled or cooked in a soup in place of a typical meat. This variety of kielbasa is virtually identical to Italian Sausage.

Usage in Popular Culture


cookbook Wiejska


  • Katherine Barber, editor (2004). The Canadian Oxford Dictionary, second edition. Toronto, Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-541816-6.
kielbasa in Czech: Klobása
kielbasa in Danish: Pølse
kielbasa in German: Krakauer
kielbasa in Estonian: Vorst
kielbasa in Spanish: Kielbasa
kielbasa in Esperanto: Kolbaso
kielbasa in French: Kielbasa
kielbasa in Galician: Salchicha
kielbasa in Indonesian: Sosis
kielbasa in Italian: Salume
kielbasa in Hebrew: נקניק
kielbasa in Lithuanian: Dešra
kielbasa in Dutch: Worst
kielbasa in Japanese: ソーセージ
kielbasa in Norwegian: Pølse
kielbasa in Narom: Saûciche
kielbasa in Polish: Kiełbasa
kielbasa in Portuguese: Salsicha
kielbasa in Kölsch: Woosch
kielbasa in Russian: Колбаса
kielbasa in Simple English: Sausage
kielbasa in Serbian: Кобасица
kielbasa in Slovak: Klobása
kielbasa in Finnish: Makkara
kielbasa in Swedish: Korv
kielbasa in Thai: ไส้กรอก
kielbasa in Ukrainian: Ковбаса
kielbasa in Venetian: Luganega
kielbasa in Chinese: 波蘭香腸
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1